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Devotional: March 18, 2022

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

John 10: 10 NRSV

One of the ways to evaluate is by results. In other words, what are the fruits left behind? Here, Jesus points to a devastating wake of destruction, death left behind by a thief. Nothing good is left behind!

As we watch the images and videos of the war in Ukraine, one cannot help but think about the first part of this passage. Yet, this is not the first time such things have happened. Otherwise, this passage would not have been written. Even in times of great darkness, there is hope. Not all produces death and destruction.

When Jesus first appeared, some were skeptical of Him. The religious leaders-the Pharisees in particular, accused Him of destroying things. Yet Jesus continually pointed to the fruits of his ministry: people being healed, lives being changed, even the dead being raised.

However, that is not the end of the story-far from it! Jesus himself went to the darkest and most evil place, only to emerge victorious. Jesus reminds us that He came to offer life, and to offer it abundantly. Abundant life that is life filled with joy and strength in every part of our being: our mind, our spirit, our soul and our body.

What we as Christians must do is remember that there are two parts of this passage. We must not get stuck and only focus upon the dark part. We must trust that Christ is there. He has not forgotten about the pain and suffering in the world, and He will help rebuild life abundantly.

We have watched so much darkness during the last couple of years, from Covid to Ukraine. It is easy to feel overloaded with grief. There will always be struggles, and there will always be those in our world who seek to do evil. The good news is that Jesus came to bring life. Christ and those who follow Him seek to bring life, restoration, hope, and love to the world. Amen.

Prayer

Living God,

You know my heart. My fear, my anxiety and my sadness are almost overwhelming these days. Forgive me when I look away from You and get consumed with all that is wrong in the world. I lament the destruction and death. Lord, save us! Thank you for sending Your Son to us, for He came to bring us life. May I never lose my hope in You. I praise you, for You are the author of life. I pray this prayer in the name of the One who is the resurrection and the life, Your Son and my Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.


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